15 episodes

Between 1971 and 1972, six black girls went missing in the Washington D.C. area. Their bodies were discarded alongside DC freeways. And their killer was never found. The media dubbed him “The Freeway Phantom.”



From iHeartRadio and Tenderfoot TV, a new podcast reinvestigates the 50 year old unsolved murders of these young girls. Journalist and Public Radio veteran Celeste Headlee (NPR, PBS, TEDx) examines old case files and interviews the investigators and family members who are still haunted by these killings. Headlee will ask the questions: Why didn’t these murders make the news headlines? Did law enforcement do enough to solve these crimes? And how do racial disparities impact these types of investigations, past and present? Plus, we’ll explore new evidence which may crack the cold case wide open again.



If you have any information relating to these unsolved crimes, contact the Metropolitan Police Department at (202) 727-9099. If you have a tip and would like to reach out directly to Tenderfoot TV, email us at tips@tenderfoot.tv.

Freeway Phantom Tenderfoot TV

    • True Crime
    • 4.7 • 526 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

Between 1971 and 1972, six black girls went missing in the Washington D.C. area. Their bodies were discarded alongside DC freeways. And their killer was never found. The media dubbed him “The Freeway Phantom.”



From iHeartRadio and Tenderfoot TV, a new podcast reinvestigates the 50 year old unsolved murders of these young girls. Journalist and Public Radio veteran Celeste Headlee (NPR, PBS, TEDx) examines old case files and interviews the investigators and family members who are still haunted by these killings. Headlee will ask the questions: Why didn’t these murders make the news headlines? Did law enforcement do enough to solve these crimes? And how do racial disparities impact these types of investigations, past and present? Plus, we’ll explore new evidence which may crack the cold case wide open again.



If you have any information relating to these unsolved crimes, contact the Metropolitan Police Department at (202) 727-9099. If you have a tip and would like to reach out directly to Tenderfoot TV, email us at tips@tenderfoot.tv.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Forgotten Girls

    Forgotten Girls

    On April 25th, 1971, 13-year-old Carol Spinks mysteriously disappeared from her neighborhood in southeast Washington D.C. Six days later, her body was discovered off a nearby freeway. Investigators assumed this was a one-off murder. Little did they know, Carol was the first victim of D.C.'s first serial killer. 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 50 min
    Congress Heights

    Congress Heights

    In early July of 1971, multiple drivers reported seeing a dead body just off a freeway in D.C. Only weeks later was the cadaver recovered. Police eventually discovered it was the body of 16-year-old Darlenia Johnson, who had gone missing weeks earlier. The killer had struck again...
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 42 min
    Did My Mother See Me?

    Did My Mother See Me?

    On July 27th, 1971, 10-year-old Brenda Crockett did not return home from a trip to the grocery store. Hours later, Brenda called home to deliver a cryptic message. And then, the line went dead. Her body was discovered just hours later...
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 45 min
    The Moniker

    The Moniker

    On October 1st, 1971, a fourth victim was taken and later found dead: 12-year-old Nenomoshia Yates. Finally, news outlets begin to pick up the story of these murdered black girls. And the media gives the killer a name...
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 45 min
    Catch Me If You Can

    Catch Me If You Can

    In the early morning hours of November 16th, 1971, police discovered the body of 18-year-old Brenda Woodard. But this time, it's clear that the victim fought back against the killer. And in Brenda's coat pocket, police discover a handwritten note from the Phantom.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 42 min
    The Hospital

    The Hospital

    After a hiatus of 10 months, police find the body of 17-year-old Diane Williams on September 6th, 1972. Diane would be the final confirmed victim of the Freeway Phantom. Sadly, police attention would be diverted away from the case by the Watergate Scandal. Plus, a suspect is revealed.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
526 Ratings

526 Ratings

tmarti13 ,

Courtney’s House

Tina is a God send! It would be amazing if she could do this country wide, a house in every state. This is needed.

Nancy78456 ,

A Bit Woke and Biased 3.9 ⭐️

I think the investigation in this podcast was excellent and the insight of the guests were great. However, it’s a bit woke, wanting to spin the race card in places they prob don’t belong - I’m not saying racism and prejudice did not exist in the 1970s because it very much did but this podcast doesn’t focus on the evidence that the highway phantom was likely a BLACK man. One of the cold case detectives on this even thought so herself, and she was a black female detective. You gotta laugh at the audacity to put aside somethings that make minorities look back and blame it all on the white folks. At another point a guest is asked “why isn't there more coverage on news media when a black or brown child goes missing?” And the guest did everything BUT respond to the question and somehow it circled back to racist law enforcement. What isn’t spoken about is culture - it’s all put on race. Not much on how people in these neighborhoods probably saw something and did not speak up to police yet are angry at police for not solving the crime 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ It’s not ALL about race. And as long as we keep playing that constant race card in this day and age it will continue to exist. Now what they should have been talking about was how a person from within the black community who was black was likely the one victimizing their own people - how do you figure that??! We should touch on that because these baby girls deserve every avenue to be explored. Otherwise, a good podcast. You can chew the meat and spit out the bones when it comes to the woke stuff. And I am Hispanic, female, grew up in the hood and work in my community FYI.

Nullity ,

Ben!

I like how Ben reads the police report in episode two. That’s been from stuff they don’t want you to know podcast. That was a nice surprise.

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